Thursday, August 20, 2009

'Den Osynlige' vs. 'The Invisible'

You know the recent obsession with American movie studios remaking old movies and foreign movies? Well, it didn't just begin. It's been going on for years (now it's just EVERY movie that is a remake) and here is some evidence:

The 2002 Swedish movie 'Den Osynlige' is a movie about a young man, Niklas (Gustaf Skarsgård) who dreams of doing something other than what his mother wants. He buys a ticket to a school in England that he has gained money to attend by selling papers at school. At school one of his friends is being beaten up by a girl who acts tough but is really neglected and he says that Niklas had been snitching on her; he believed Niklas already left for England. Annelie and her friends follow him and beat him up, leaving him in the forest to die. The next morning he wakes up and heads to school, but no one is paying any attention to him and things he touches remain where they were. After seeing a bird fly into a window, he realizes that he is dying in the woods and has to get someone to come save him. Annelie realizes that her boyfriend was the one who snitched on her. His friend, during these events, commits suicide and leaves a note for his parents and police. The note leads them to Niklas' body in the woods, where he is just about on the brink of death.

The Invisible is a 2007 American remake starring Justin Chatwin as Nick and follows pretty much the same synopsis (I haven't seen 'Den Osynlige' because I can't find it). I don't know for sure, but the American version seems to try to explain Annie's background to give reasons for why she is the way she is. The American movie also has Annie deciding to do the right thing and go find Nick's body and to help him, but when she gets there she finds the body has been moved. Nicks' friend overdoses on painkillers due to guilt and while he's dying tells Nick where they moved the body. Nick rushes off to find the body while Annie confronts her boyfriend at gunpoint as to where they moved the body and it devolves into a shootout that ends with Annie getting the information she wants and a stomach wound. The police find Nick's body but he won't wake up and Annie takes off to the hospital.

This is where the two movies part ways. The American version, of course, has a happy ending while the Swedish version is not the typical happy ending Americans seem to require in everything we watch. In 'Den Osynlige', Annie turns herself over to the police and turns off Niklas' life-support where they are both set free. In 'The Invisible', she races to the hospital, uses Nick to talk to his mother and gain entrance to his room, goes in and confesses and apologizes to everything. Nick wakes up with Annie lying next to him and forgives her after which she dies. There is also a sappy end scene with Nick approaching Annie's brother flying a plane in the park and Nick offers to write a message on the plane for Annie. Then they fly the plane together.

'The Invisible' was filmed in Vancouver and that is one of it's most lovely aspects, the only thing really. The scenery and cinematography are amazing. Also the American version has Alex O'Loughlin and Callum Keith Rennie. 'Den Osynlige' was, of course, filmed in Sweden and stars a Skarsgård (lillebror to Alex).

Watch the two trailers and see how incredibly similar they are, they even have Annie/Annelie wearing the same clothes! The American version elaborates a bit much on what the story is and resorts to having not only the on-screen words tell the story, but also some old man whose scenes were cut. Then ask why it was necessary to "remake" the original when they could have just bought the American rights to show it over here?

I will post the video for 'Den Osynlige' later...It's not working. Until then, go to the YouTube site to watch it.

EDIT: Since the trailer won't work, here is a music video for 'Den Osynlige' to the song 'Längtan Skala 3:1' by Kent. I like the song, no surprise iTunes doesn't have it.

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